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What is the Difference Between Wanting and Needing Recovery?

What is the Difference Between Wanting and Needing Recovery?

Aug 31, 2018 | QA, Recovery

Getting people off your back may be the only motivation you have to find a 12-Step program that can support you with total abstinence from drugs and alcohol. You could be only going to meetings because you know this will bide time until you are able to get back to drinking and using again. Instead you turn your reservations into solution and begin to work the program the way it is intended. The understanding that you need recovery more than you want recovery takes you over and you start to see life improve.   

In the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous page 559, the story To Handle Sobriety has this to say about wants and needs: “We are taught to differentiate between our wants (which are never satisfied) and our needs (which are provided for).”

While you were participating in your addiction, the demands for drugs and alcohol surely got the best of you and you continued to want more. Although you probably physically needed substances to help you from withdrawals, your mentality was to take what you could get which in layman’s terms results in wanting what you want when you want it.

Even if you take away the drugs and the alcohol, you will still have the same mindset until you change your perspective with recovery tools.  Being able to decipher between wants and needs becomes clearer when you begin to work the steps and connect to a Higher Power in the process. Learning the difference between the two words can give you a solid footing in your recovery.


  • A want is a desire for something that is wished for.



  • A need is a lack of something useful or a psychological or physiological requirement for well-being.


Following the dictates of Higher Power can guide you into practicing the principles in your life which shows you that you are not in charge. You may want certain things for yourself, but the things that you want usually attribute to your self-centeredness that was so prevalent in your addictive behaviors. The longer that you work your program alongside your Higher Power, you realize that you have always had what you needed. You just were not in the state of mind to be grateful for the simple things you were given or to understand that with the faith of your Higher Power you will continue to be provided with exactly what you need.

Wanting what you need may not be what you think you want. Having what you need and being thankful for what you have, certainly changes who you want to become in recovery.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive program that can help someone who abuses drugs and alcohol to become sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy combined can show our clients how to adorn their soul in recovery.

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At Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we offer residential detox and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities to address the needs of all our clients. Our high staff-to-client ratio ensures everyone that enters our facility gets the personal attention they need and deserve for a safe and successful detox process. To learn more about our program, contact Serenity Oaks Wellness Center today at 844-720-6847.
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